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Development. 2007 Jan;134(1):147-55.

A pump-independent function of the Na,K-ATPase is required for epithelial junction function and tracheal tube-size control.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

Abstract

The heterodimeric Na,K-ATPase has been implicated in vertebrate and invertebrate epithelial cell junctions, morphogenesis and oncogenesis, but the mechanisms involved are unclear. We previously showed that the Drosophila Na,K-ATPase is required for septate junction (SJ) formation and that of the three beta-subunit loci, only Nrv2 isoforms support epithelial SJ barrier function and tracheal tube-size control. Here we show that Nrv1 is endogenously co-expressed with Nrv2 in the epidermis and tracheal system, but Nrv1 has a basolateral localization and appears to be excluded from the Nrv2-containing SJs. When the normally neuronal Nrv3 is expressed in epithelial cells, it does not associate with SJs. Thus, the beta-subunit is a key determinant of Na,K-ATPase subcellular localization as well as function. However, localization of the Na,K-ATPase to SJs is not sufficient for junctional activity because although several Nrv2/Nrv3 chimeric beta-subunits localize to SJs, only those containing the extracellular domain of Nrv2 have junctional activity. Junctional activity is also specific to different alpha-subunit isoforms, with only some isoforms from the major alpha-subunit locus being able to provide full barrier function and produce normal tracheal tubes. Importantly, mutations predicted to inactivate ATPalpha catalytic function do not compromise junctional activity, demonstrating that the Drosophila Na,K-ATPase has an ion-pump-independent role in junction formation and tracheal morphogenesis. These results define new functions for the intensively studied Na,K-ATPase. Strikingly, the rat alpha1 isoform has full junctional activity and can rescue Atpalpha-null mutants to viability, suggesting that the Na,K-ATPase has an evolutionarily conserved role in junction formation and function.

PMID:
17164420
PMCID:
PMC1955469
DOI:
10.1242/dev.02710
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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