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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2008 Nov;295(5):C1202-14. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00273.2008. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Ankyrin facilitates intracellular trafficking of alpha1-Na+-K+-ATPase in polarized cells.

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Dept. of Pathology, Yale Univ., 310 Cedar St., New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Defects in ankyrin underlie many hereditary disorders involving the mislocalization of membrane proteins. Such phenotypes are usually attributed to ankyrin's role in stabilizing a plasma membrane scaffold, but this assumption may not be accurate. We found in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells and in other cultured cells that the 25-residue ankyrin-binding sequence of alpha(1)-Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase facilitates the entry of alpha(1),beta(1)-Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase into the secretory pathway and that replacement of the cytoplasmic domain of vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSV-G) with this ankyrin-binding sequence bestows ankyrin dependency on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi trafficking of VSV-G. Expression of the ankyrin-binding sequence of alpha(1)-Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase alone as a soluble cytosolic peptide acts in trans to selectively block ER to Golgi transport of both wild-type alpha(1)-Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase and a VSV-G fusion protein that includes the ankyrin-binding sequence, whereas the trafficking of other proteins remains unaffected. Similar phenotypes are also generated by small hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of ankyrin R or the depletion of ankyrin in semipermeabilized cells. These data indicate that the adapter protein ankyrin acts not only at the plasma membrane but also early in the secretory pathway to facilitate the intracellular trafficking of alpha(1)-Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase and presumably other selected proteins. This novel ankyrin-dependent assembly pathway suggests a mechanism whereby hereditary disorders of ankyrin may be manifested as diseases of membrane protein ER retention or mislocalization.

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