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Microbiology. 1998 Oct;144 ( Pt 10):2749-58.

The Nha1 antiporter of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mediates sodium and potassium efflux.

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie et de Génétique, Université Louis Pasteur/CNRS, Strasbourg, France.


The NHA1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, transcribed into a 3.5 kb mRNA, encodes a protein mediating Na+ and K+ efflux through the plasma membrane that is required for alkali cation tolerance at acidic pH. Deletion of the gene in a wild-type strain resulted in higher sensitivity to both K+ and Na+ at acidic pH. Measurements of cation loss in strains carrying deleted or overexpressed alleles of NHA1 demonstrated its role in K+ and Na+ efflux. In addition, high K+ and Na+ efflux observed upon alkalinization of the cytoplasm implies a role of Nha1p in the regulation of intracellular pH. Moreover, the overexpression of ENA1 and NHA1 genes in an ena1-4 delta-nha1 delta strain showed that the Nha1 alkalication antiporter is responsible for growth on high concentrations of KCl and NaCl at acidic pH, and Ena alkali-cation ATPases are necessary at higher pH values. Both systems have a complementary action to maintain the intracellular steady-state concentration of K+ and Na+.

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