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Kidney Int. 1995 Oct;48(4):970-84.

Role of the actin cytoskeleton on epithelial Na+ channel regulation.

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  • 1Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, USA.


The regulatory role of actin filament organization on epithelial Na+ channel activity is reviewed in this report. The actin cytoskeleton, consisting of actin filaments and associated actin-binding proteins, is essential to various cellular events including the maintenance of cell shape, the onset of cell motility, and the distribution and stability of integral membrane proteins. Functional interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and specific membrane transport proteins are, however, not as well understood. Recent studies from our laboratory have determined that dynamic changes in the actin cytoskeletal organization may represent a novel signaling mechanism in the regulation of ion transport in epithelia. This report summarizes work conducted in our laboratory leading to an understanding of the molecular steps associated with the regulatory role of the actin-based cytoskeleton on epithelial Na+ channel function. The basis of this interaction lies on the regulation by actin-binding proteins and adjacent structures, of actin filament organization which in turn, modulates ion channel activity. The scope of this interaction may extend to such relevant cellular events as the vasopressin response in the kidney.

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