Laboratorio de Fisiología Molecular, Centro de Biofísica y Bioquímica, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Caracas, Venezuela.
Primary Na+ transport has been essentially attributed to Na+/K+ pump. However, there are functional and biochemical evidences that suggest the existence of a K+-independent, ouabain-insensitive Na+ pump, associated to a Na+-ATPase with similar characteristics, located at basolateral plasma membrane of epithelial cells. Herein, membrane protein complex associated with this Na+-ATPase was identified. Basolateral membranes from guinea-pig enterocytes were solubilized with polyoxyethylene-9-lauryl ether and Na+-ATPase was purified by concanavalin A affinity and ion exchange chromatographies. Purified enzyme preserves its native biochemical characteristics: Mg2+ dependence, specific Na+ stimulation, K+ independence, ouabain insensitivity and inhibition by furosemide (IC50: 0.5 mM) and vanadate (IC50: 9.1 μM). IgY antibodies against purified Na+-ATPase did not recognize Na+/K+-ATPase and vice versa. Analysis of purified Na+-ATPase by SDS-PAGE and 2D-electrophoresis showed that is constituted by two subunits: 90 (α) and 50 (β) kDa. Tandem mass spectrometry of α-subunit identified three peptides, also present in most Na+/K+-ATPase isoforms, which were used to design primers for cloning both ATPases by PCR from guinea-pig intestinal epithelial cells. A cDNA fragment of 1148 bp (atna) was cloned, in addition to Na+/K+-ATPase α1-isoform cDNA (1283 bp). In MDCK cells, which constitutively express Na+-ATPase, silencing of atna mRNA specifically suppressed Na+-ATPase α-subunit and ouabain-insensitive Na+-ATPase activity, demonstrating that atna transcript is linked to this enzyme. Guinea-pig atna mRNA sequence (2787 bp) was completed using RLM-RACE. It encodes a protein of 811 amino acids (88.9 kDa) with the nine structural motifs of P-type ATPases. It has 64% identity and 72% homology with guinea-pig Na+/K+-ATPase α1-isoform. These structural and biochemical evidences identify the K+-independent, ouabain-insensitive Na+-ATPase as a unique P-type ATPase.
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