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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Apr 22;1371(1):40-52.

Membrane topology of the rat brain Na+-Ca2+ exchanger.

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Department of Biochemistry, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.


To provide experimental evidence for the topology of the Na+-Ca2+ exchanger protein NCX1 in the membrane, indirect immunofluorescence studies using site specific anti-peptide antibodies and Flag-epitope insertion into chosen locations of the protein were carried out. Anti-peptide antibodies AbO-6 and AbO-8 were raised against peptide segments present in a large hydrophilic loop of about 500 amino acids, which separates the hydrophobic amino terminal part of the protein from the hydrophobic carboxy terminal. AbO-10 was raised against the C-terminal tail of the protein. All three antibodies bound to the exchanger protein expressed in transfected cells, in rat brain synaptic plasma membrane and in dog sarcolemmal preparations. The antibodies bound only to those NCX1 isoforms that contained the epitope against which they were raised. Detection of the exchanger protein in transfected cells in situ required the addition of permeabilizing agents suggesting an intracellular location of the epitopes to which AbO-6, AbO-8 and AbO-10 bind. The Flag epitope was inserted into ten putative extramembraneous segments along the exchanger protein. For topology studies, only the Flag-mutants that retained Na+-Ca2+ exchange activity in whole HeLa cells, were used. Immunofluorescence studies indicated, that the N-terminal of the protein is extracellular, the first hydrophilic loop separating transmembrane helices 1 and 2 as well as the C-terminal, are intracellular.

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