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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2006;17(3-4):121-8. Epub 2006 Mar 14.

Effect of intracellular magnesium and oxygen tension on K+-Cl- cotransport in normal and sickle human red cells.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ES, UK.


In red cells from normal individuals (HbA cells), the K+-Cl- cotransporter (KCC) is inactivated by low O2 tension whilst in those from sickle cell patients (HbS cells), it remains fully active. Changes in free intracellular [Mg2+] have been proposed as a mechanism. In HbA cells, KCC activity was stimulated by Mg2+ depletion and inhibited by Mg2+ loading but the effect of O2 was independent of Mg2+. At all [Mg2+]is, the transporter was stimulated in oxygenated cells, minimally active in deoxygenated ones. By contrast, the stimulatory effects of O2 was abolished by inhibitors of protein (de)phosphorylation. HbS cells had elevated KCC activity, which was of similar magnitude in oxygenated and deoxygenated cells, regardless of Mg2+ clamping. In deoxygenated cells, the antisickling agent dimethyl adipimidate inhibited sickling, Psickle and KCC. Results indicate a role for protein phosphorylation in O2 dependence of KCC, with different activities of the relevant enzymes in HbA and HbS cells, probably dependent on Hb.

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