In the renal proximal tubule, the activities of the basolateral Na+/HCO3– cotransporter (NBC) and the apical Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE3) uniformly vary in parallel, suggesting that they are coordinately regulated. PKA-mediated inhibition of NHE3 is mediated by a PDZ motif–containing protein, the Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor (NHE-RF). Given the common inhibition of these transporters after protein kinase A (PKA) activation, we sought to determine whether NHE-RF also plays a role in PKA-regulated NBC activity. Renal cortex immunoblot analysis using anti-peptide antibodies directed against rabbit NHE-RF demonstrated the presence of this regulatory factor in both brush-border membranes (BBMs) and basolateral membranes (BLMs). Using a reconstitution assay, we found that limited trypsin digestion of detergent solubilized rabbit renal BLM preparations resulted in NBC activity that was unaffected by PKA activation. Co-reconstitution of these trypsinized preparations with a recombinant protein corresponding to wild-type rabbit NHE-RF restored the inhibitory effect of PKA on NBC activity in a concentration-dependent manner. NBC activity was inhibited 60% by 10–8M NHE-RF; this effect was not observed in the absence of PKA. Reconstitution with heat-denatured NHE-RF also failed to attenuate NBC activity. To establish further a physiologic role for NHE-RF in NBC regulation, the renal epithelial cell line B-SC-1, which lacks detectable endogenous NHE-RF expression, was engineered to express stably an NHE-RF transgene. NHE-RF–expressing B-SC-1 cells (B-SC-RF) exhibited markedly lower basal levels of NBC activity than did wild-type controls. Inhibition of NBC activity in B-SC-RF cells was enhanced after 10 μM of forskolin treatment, consistent with a postulated role for NHE-RF in mediating the inhibition of NBC activity by PKA. These findings not only suggest NHE-RF involvement in PKA-regulated NBC activity, but also provide a unique molecular mechanism whereby basolateral NBC and apical NHE3 activities may be coordinately regulated in renal proximal tubule cells.
Angelito A. Bernardo, Felicidad T. Kear, Anna V.P. Santos, Jianfei Ma, Debra Steplock, R. Brooks Robey, Edward J. Weinman