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FEBS Lett. 2006 May 29;580(13):3161-6. Epub 2006 May 2.

VHA-8, the E subunit of V-ATPase, is essential for pH homeostasis and larval development in C. elegans.

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Department of Life Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Oryong 1, Puk-gu, Gwangju 500-712, South Korea.


Vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) is an ATP-dependent proton pump, which transports protons across the membrane. It is a multi-protein complex which is composed of at least 13 subunits. The Caenorhabditis elegans vha-8 encodes the E subunit of V-ATPase which is expressed in the hypodermis, intestine and H-shaped excretory cells. VHA-8 is necessary for proper intestinal function likely through its role in cellular acidification of intestinal cells. The null mutants of vha-8 show a larval lethal phenotype indicating that vha-8 is an essential gene for larval development in C. elegans. Interestingly, characteristics of necrotic cell death were observed in the hypodermis and intestine of the arrested larvae suggesting that pH homeostasis via the E subunit of V-ATPase is required for the cell survival in C. elegans.

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