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J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 29;285(44):33737-46. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.141119. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Association with {beta}-COP regulates the trafficking of the newly synthesized Na,K-ATPase.

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Department of Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8026, USA.


Plasma membrane expression of the Na,K-ATPase requires assembly of its α- and β-subunits. Using a novel labeling technique to identify Na,K-ATPase partner proteins, we detected an interaction between the Na,K-ATPase α-subunit and the coat protein, β-COP, a component of the COP-I complex. When expressed in the absence of the Na,K-ATPase β-subunit, the Na,K-ATPase α-subunit interacts with β-COP, is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum, and is targeted for degradation. In the presence of the Na,K-ATPase β-subunit, the α-subunit does not interact with β-COP and traffics to the plasma membrane. Pulse-chase experiments demonstrate that in cells expressing both the Na,K-ATPase α- and β-subunits, newly synthesized α-subunit associates with β-COP immediately after its synthesis but that this interaction does not constitute an obligate intermediate in the assembly of the α- and β-subunits to form the pump holoenzyme. The interaction with β-COP was reduced by mutating a dibasic motif at Lys(54) in the Na,K-ATPase α-subunit. This mutant α-subunit is not retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and reaches the plasma membrane, even in the absence of Na,K-ATPase β-subunit expression. Although the Lys(54) α-subunit reaches the cell surface without need for β-subunit assembly, it is only functional as an ion-transporting ATPase in the presence of the β-subunit.

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