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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Mar 15;91(6):2201-5.

Molecular cloning and functional expression of the bumetanide-sensitive Na-K-Cl cotransporter.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


By mediating the coupled movement of Na, K, and Cl ions across the plasma membrane of most animal cells, the bumetanide-sensitive Na-K-Cl cotransporter (NKCC) plays a vital role in the regulation of ionic balance and cell volume. The transporter is a central element in the process of vectorial salt transport in secretory and absorptive epithelia. A cDNA encoding a Na-K-Cl cotransport protein was isolated from a shark rectal gland library by screening with monoclonal antibodies to the native shark cotransporter. The 1191-residue protein predicted from the cDNA sequence has 12 putative transmembrane domains flanked by large cytoplasmic N and C termini. Regulatory phosphoacceptor residues in isolated peptides are identified as Thr-189 and Thr-1114 in the predicted sequence. Northern blot analysis identified a 7.4-kb mRNA in rectal gland and most other shark tissues; a 5.2-kb mRNA was restricted to shark kidney. Homology with an uncharacterized gene from Caenorhabditis elegans and with the thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransporter of flounder urinary bladder was found over most of the coding region; shorter stretches of homology were found with a C. elegans cDNA and with an uncharacterized gene of cyanobacterium. Human HEK-293 cells have been stably transfected with the shark cDNA and shown to express Na-K-Cl cotransport activity with the bumetanide sensitivity of the shark protein. The expressed transporter is functionally quiescent in the host cells and can be activated by depleting the cells of chloride.

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