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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol October 1, 2006; 291 (4): C788-801.

The human NBCe1-A mutant R881C, associated with proximal renal tubular acidosis, retains function but is mistargeted in polarized renal epithelia.

Toye AM , Parker MD , Daly CM , Lu J , Virkki LV , Pelletier MF , Boron WF .

The human electrogenic renal Na-HCO(3) cotransporter (NBCe1-A; SLC4A4) is localized to the basolateral membrane of proximal tubule cells. Mutations in the SLC4A4 gene cause an autosomal recessive proximal renal tubular acidosis (pRTA), a disease characterized by impaired ability of the proximal tubule to reabsorb HCO(3)(-) from the glomerular filtrate. Other symptoms can include mental retardation and ocular abnormalities. Recently, a novel homozygous missense mutant (R881C) of NBCe1-A was reported from a patient with a severe pRTA phenotype. The mutant protein was described as having a lower than normal activity when expressed in Xenopus oocytes, despite having normal Na(+) affinity. However, without trafficking data, it is impossible to determine the molecular basis for the phenotype. In the present study, we expressed wild-type NBCe1-A (WT) and mutant NBCe1-A (R881C), tagged at the COOH terminus with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). This approach permitted semiquantification of surface expression in individual Xenopus oocytes before assay by two-electrode voltage clamp or measurements of intracellular pH. These data show that the mutation reduces the surface expression rather than the activity of the individual protein molecules. Confocal microscopy on polarized mammalian epithelial kidney cells [Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK)I] expressing nontagged WT or R881C demonstrates that WT is expressed at the basolateral membrane of these cells, whereas R881C is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. In summary, the pathophysiology of pRTA caused by the R881C mutation is likely due to a deficit of NBCe1-A at the proximal tubule basolateral membrane, rather than a defect in the transport activity of individual molecules.

PubMed ID: 16707554
Article link: Am J Physiol Cell Physiol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: slc4a4