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Biochem J. 2012 Sep 15;446(3):427-35. doi: 10.1042/BJ20120535.

Characterization of cytoskeletal protein 4.1R interaction with NHE1 (Na(+)/H(+) exchanger isoform 1).

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  • 1Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


NHE1 (Na(+)/H(+) exchanger isoform 1) has been reported to be hyperactive in 4.1R-null erythrocytes [Rivera, De Franceschi, Peters, Gascard, Mohandas and Brugnara (2006) Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 291, C880-C886], supporting a functional interaction between NHE1 and 4.1R. In the present paper we demonstrate that 4.1R binds directly to the NHE1cd (cytoplasmic domain of NHE1) through the interaction of an EED motif in the 4.1R FERM (4.1/ezrin/radixin/moesin) domain with two clusters of basic amino acids in the NHE1cd, K(519)R and R(556)FNKKYVKK, previously shown to mediate PIP(2) (phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate) binding [Aharonovitz, Zaun, Balla, York, Orlowski and Grinstein (2000) J. Cell. Biol. 150, 213-224]. The affinity of this interaction (K(d) = 100-200 nM) is reduced in hypertonic and acidic conditions, demonstrating that this interaction is of an electrostatic nature. The binding affinity is also reduced upon binding of Ca(2+)/CaM (Ca(2+)-saturated calmodulin) to the 4.1R FERM domain. We propose that 4.1R regulates NHE1 activity through a direct protein-protein interaction that can be modulated by intracellular pH and Na(+) and Ca(2+) concentrations.

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