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J Physiol. 2003 Jun 15;549(Pt 3):673-82. Epub 2003 May 2.

Phosphorylation-induced modulation of pNBC1 function: distinct roles for the amino- and carboxy-termini.

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  • 1Departments of Reproductive Biology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


The human NBC1 (SLC4A4) gene encodes the electrogenic sodium bicarbonate cotransporters kNBC1 and pNBC1, which are highly expressed in the kidney and pancreas, respectively. The HCO3-:Na+ stoichiometry of these cotransporters is an important determinant of the direction of ion flux. Recently we showed in a mouse proximal tubule (mPCT) cell line expressing kNBC1, that 8-Br-cAMP shifts the stoichiometry of the cotransporter from 3:1 to 2:1 via protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent phosphorylation of Ser982. pNBC1 has the identical carboxy-terminal consensus phosphorylation PKA site (KKGS1026), and an additional site in its amino-terminus (KRKT49). In this study we determined the potential role of these sites in regulating the function of pNBC1. The results demonstrated that in mPCT cells expressing pNBC1, PKA-dependent phosphorylation of Ser1026 following 8-Br-cAMP treatment shifted the stoichiometry from 3:1 to 2:1. The effect was electrostatic in nature as replacing Ser1026 with Asp resulted in a similar stoichiometry shift. In addition to shifting the stoichiometry, 8-Br-cAMP caused a significant increase in the 4,4'-dinitrostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DNDS)-sensitive basolateral membrane conductance (GDS) of cells expressing pNBC1, but not kNBC1. Although, the effect did not involve phosphorylation of Thr49, which was endogenously phosphorylated, replacing this residue with Asp or Ala abolished the 8-Br-cAMP-induced increase in GDS. In the mPEC pancreatic duct cell line, where endogenous pNBC1 functions with a HCO3-:Na+ stoichiometry of 2:1, 8-Br-cAMP increased GDS by ~90 % without altering the stoichiometry or inducing phosphorylation of the cotransporter. The results demonstrate that phosphorylation of Ser1026 mediates the cAMP-dependent shift in the stoichiometry of pNBC1, whereas Thr49 plays an essential role in the cAMP-induced increase in GDS.

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