Na+/H+ exchanger 3 (NHE3) plays an important role in neutral Na+ transport in mammalian epithelial cells. The Rho family of small GTPases and the PDZ (PSD-95/discs large/ZO-1) domain-based adaptor Shank2 are known to regulate the membrane expression and activity of NHE3. In this study we examined the role of βPix, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the Rho GTPase and a strong binding partner to Shank2, in NHE3 regulation using integrated molecular and physiological approaches. Immunoprecipitation and pulldown assays revealed that NHE3, Shank2, and βPix form a macromolecular complex when expressed heterologously in mammalian cells as well as endogenously in rat colon, kidney, and pancreas. In addition, these proteins co-segregated at the apical surface of rat colonic epithelial cells, as detected by immunofluorescence staining. When expressed in PS120/NHE3 cells, βPix increased membrane expression and basal activity of NHE3. Interestingly, the effects of βPix on NHE3 were abolished by cotransfection with dominant-negative Shank2 mutants and by treatment with Clostridium difficile toxin B, a Rho GTPase inhibitor, indicating that Shank2 and Rho GTPases are involved in βPix-mediated NHE3 regulation. Knockdown of endogenous βPix by RNA interference decreased Shank2-induced increase of NHE3 membrane expression in HEK 293T cells. These results indicate that βPix up-regulates NHE3 membrane expression and activity by Shank2-mediated protein-protein interaction and by activating Rho GTPases in the apical regions of epithelial cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology