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J Biol Chem. 2006 Jul 14;281(28):19709-19. Epub 2006 May 12.

Functional characterization of Src-interacting Na/K-ATPase using RNA interference assay.

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Department of Physiology, Pharmacology, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Sciences, Medical University of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio 43614, USA.


We have shown that the Na/K-ATPase and Src form a signaling receptor complex. Here we determined how alterations in the amount and properties of the Na/K-ATPase affect basal Src activity and ouabain-induced signal transduction. Several alpha1 subunit knockdown cell lines were generated by transfecting LLC-PK1 cells with a vector expressing alpha1-specific small interference RNA. Although the alpha1 knockdown resulted in significant decreases in Na/K-ATPase activity, it increased the basal Src activity and tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase, a Src effector. Concomitantly it also abolished ouabain-induced activation of Src and ERK1/2. When the knockdown cells were rescued by a rat alpha1, both Na/K-ATPase activity and the basal Src activity were restored. In addition, ouabain was able to stimulate Src and ERK1/2 in the rescued cells at a much higher concentration, consistent with the established differences in ouabain sensitivity between pig and rat alpha1. Finally both fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis and co-immunoprecipitation assay indicated that the pumping-null rat alpha1 (D371E) mutant could also bind Src. Expression of this mutant restored the basal Src activity and focal adhesion kinase tyrosine phosphorylation. Taken together, the new findings suggest that LLC-PK1 cells contain a pool of Src-interacting Na/K-ATPase that not only regulates Src activity but also serves as a receptor for ouabain to activate protein kinases.

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