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J Biol Chem. 2009 May 8;284(19):12663-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M809737200. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

The activity of the epithelial sodium channels is regulated by caveolin-1 via a Nedd4-2-dependent mechanism.

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Discipline of Physiology, The Bosch Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


It has recently been shown that the epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC) is compartmentalized in caveolin-rich lipid rafts and that pharmacological depletion of membrane cholesterol, which disrupts lipid raft formation, decreases the activity of ENaC. Here we show, for the first time, that a signature protein of caveolae, caveolin-1 (Cav-1), down-regulates the activity and membrane surface expression of ENaC. Physical interaction between ENaC and Cav-1 was also confirmed in a coimmunoprecipitation assay. We found that the effect of Cav-1 on ENaC requires the activity of Nedd4-2, a ubiquitin protein ligase of the Nedd4 family, which is known to induce ubiquitination and internalization of ENaC. The effect of Cav-1 on ENaC requires the proline-rich motifs at the C termini of the beta- and gamma-subunits of ENaC, the binding motifs that mediate interaction with Nedd4-2. Taken together, our data suggest that Cav-1 inhibits the activity of ENaC by decreasing expression of ENaC at the cell membrane via a mechanism that involves the promotion of Nedd4-2-dependent internalization of the channel.

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