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Biochemistry. 1988 Nov 1;27(22):8400-8.

Structure-function relationships in the Na,K-ATPase alpha subunit: site-directed mutagenesis of glutamine-111 to arginine and asparagine-122 to aspartic acid generates a ouabain-resistant enzyme.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio 45267-0524.


Na,K-ATPases from various species differ greatly in their sensitivity to cardiac glycosides such as ouabain. The sheep and human enzymes are a thousand times more sensitive than the corresponding ones from rat and mouse. To define the region of the alpha 1 subunit responsible for this differential sensitivity, chimeric cDNAs of sheep and rat were constructed and expressed in ouabain-sensitive HeLa cells. The construct containing the amino-terminal half of the rat alpha 1 subunit coding region and carboxyl-terminal half of the sheep conferred the ouabain-resistant phenotype to HeLa cells while the reverse construct did not. This indicates that the determinants involved in ouabain sensitivity are located in the amino-terminal half of the Na,K-ATPase alpha subunit. By use of site-directed mutagenesis, the amino acid sequence of the first extracellular domain (H1-H2) of the sheep alpha 1 subunit, Gln-Ala-Ala-Thr-Glu-Glu-Glu-Pro-Gln-Asn-Asp-Asn, was changed to that of the rat, Arg-Ser-Ala-Thr-Glu-Glu-Glu-Pro-Pro-Asn-Asp-Asp. When expressed in HeLa cells, this mutated sheep alpha 1 construct, like the rat/sheep chimera, was able to confer ouabain resistance to these cells. Furthermore, similar results were observed when HeLa cells were transfected with a sheep alpha 1 cDNA containing only two amino acid substitutions. This double mutation was a Gln-111----Arg and Asn-122----Asp change at the amino terminus and carboxyl terminus, respectively, of the H1-H2 extracellular region. The resistant cells, whether transfected with the rat alpha 1 cDNA, the rat/sheep chimera, or the mutant sheep alpha 1 cDNAs, exhibited identical biochemical characteristics including ouabain-inhibitable cell growth, 86Rb+ uptake, and Na,K-ATPase activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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