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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jul 31;284(31):21066-76. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.013821. Epub 2009 Jun 8.

NaKtide, a Na/K-ATPase-derived peptide Src inhibitor, antagonizes ouabain-activated signal transduction in cultured cells.

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Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43614, USA.


We have previously shown that the Na/K-ATPase binds and inhibits Src. Here, we report the molecular mechanism of Na/K-ATPase-mediated Src regulation and the generation of a novel peptide Src inhibitor that targets the Na/K-ATPase/Src receptor complex and antagonizes ouabain-induced protein kinase cascades. First, the Na/K-ATPase inhibits Src kinase through the N terminus of the nucleotide-binding domain of the alpha1 subunit. Second, detailed mapping leads to the identification of a 20-amino acid peptide (NaKtide) that inhibits Src (IC50 = 70 nm) in an ATP concentration-independent manner. Moreover, NaKtide does not directly affect the ERK and protein kinase C family of kinases. It inhibits Lyn with a much lower potency (IC50 = 2.5 microm). Third, highly positively charged leader peptide conjugates including HIV-Tat-NaKtide (pNaKtide) readily enter cultured cells. Finally, the following functional studies of pNaKtide demonstrate that this conjugate can specifically target the Na/K-ATPase-interacting pool of Src and act as a potent ouabain antagonist in cultured cells: 1) pNaKtide, unlike PP2, resides in the membranes. Consistently, it affects the basal Src activity much less than that of PP2. 2) pNaKtide is effective in disrupting the formation of the Na/K-ATPase/Src receptor complex in a dose-dependent manner. Consequently, it blocks ouabain-induced activation of Src, ERK, and hypertrophic growth in cardiac myocytes. 3) Unlike PP2, pNaKtide does not affect IGF-induced ERK activation in cardiac myocytes. Taken together, we suggest that pNaKtide may be used as a novel antagonist of ouabain for probing the physiological and pathological significance of the newly appreciated signaling function of Na/K-ATPase and cardiotonic steroids.

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