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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2006 Jul;17(7):1858-66. Epub 2006 Jun 12.

Vacuolar H+ -ATPase B1 subunit mutations that cause inherited distal renal tubular acidosis affect proton pump assembly and trafficking in inner medullary collecting duct cells.

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  • 1Renal Section, 1st Affiliated Hospital of Zhongshan University, Guangzhou, China.


Point mutations in the B1 subunit of vacuolar H+ -ATPase are associated with impaired ability of the distal nephron to secrete acid (distal renal tubular acidosis). For testing of the hypothesis that these mutations interfere with assembly and trafficking of the H+ -ATPase, constructs that mimic seven known point mutations in inherited distal renal tubular acidosis (M) or wild-type (WT) B1 were transfected into a rat inner medullary collecting duct cell line to express green fluorescence protein (GFP)-B1WT or GFP-B1M fusion proteins. In co-immunoprecipitation studies, GFP-B1WT formed complexes with other H+ -ATPase subunits (c, H, and E), whereas GFP-B1M did not. Proteins that were immunoprecipitated with anti-GFP antibody from GFP-B1WT cells had ATPase activity, whereas proteins from GFP-B1M cells did not. Proton pump-mediated intracellular pH transport was inhibited in GFP-B1M-transfected cells but not in GFP-B1WT cells. GFP-B1WT and GFP-B1M are present in the apical membrane and increased with cellular acidification. In GFP-B1WT cells, the apical membrane fraction of GFP-B1, endogenous B1, and the 31-kD subunits of the H+ -ATPase increased with cell acidification. In GFP-B1M cells, the endogenous B1 and 31-kD subunits did not increase with acidification. B1 point mutations prevent normal assembly of the H+ -ATPase and also may act as an inhibitor of H+ -ATPase function by competing with endogenous intact H+ -ATPase for trafficking in inner medullary collecting duct cells.

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