Homooligomeric and heterooligomeric associations between K+-Cl- cotransporter isoforms and between K+-Cl- and Na+-K+-Cl- cotransporters.
Little is known regarding the quaternary structure of cation-Cl- cotransporters (CCCs) except that the Na+-dependent CCCs can exist as homooligomeric units. Given that each of the CCCs exhibits unique functional properties and that several of these carriers coexist in various cell types, it would be of interest to determine whether the four K+-Cl- cotransporter (KCC) isoforms and their splice variants can also assemble into such units and, more importantly, whether they can form heterooligomers by interacting with each other or with the secretory Na+-K+-Cl- cotransporter (NKCC1). In the present work, we have addressed these questions by conducting two groups of analyses: 1) yeast two-hybrid and pull-down assays in which CCC-derived protein segments were used as both bait and prey and 2) coimmunoprecipitation and functional studies of intact CCCs coexpressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Through a combination of such analyses, we have found that KCC2 and KCC4 could adopt various oligomeric states (in the form of KCC2-KCC2, KCC4-KCC4, KCC2-KCC4, and even KCC4-NKCC1 complexes), that their carboxyl termini were probably involved in carrier assembly, and that the KCC4-NKCC1 oligomers, more specifically, could deploy unique functional features. Through additional coimmunoprecipitation studies, we have also found that KCC1 and KCC3 had the potential of assembling into various types of CCC-CCC oligomers as well, although the interactions uncovered were not characterized as extensively, and the protein segments involved were not identified in yeast two-hybrid assays. Taken together, these findings could change our views on how CCCs operate or are regulated in animal cells by suggesting, in particular, that cation-Cl- cotransport achieves higher levels of functional diversity than foreseen.
PubMed ID: 17462999
Article link: J Biol Chem.
Genes referenced: pigy slc12a2 slc12a4 slc12a5 slc12a6