The epithelial Na+ channel α- and γ-subunits are cleaved at predicted furin-cleavage sites, glycosylated and membrane associated in human kidney

Rikke Zachar, Maiken K Mikkelsen, Karsten Skjødt, Niels Marcussen, Reza Zamani, Boye L Jensen, Per Svenningsen

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Abstrakt

The epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) is essential for Na+/K+ homeostasis and blood pressure control. Its activity is regulated by proteases in rodents. To gain more information on proteolytic ENaC regulation in humans, we tested the hypotheses that (1) human kidney α- and γ-ENaC subunits are furin-cleaved, glycosylated, and altered by medication that change plasma aldosterone; (2) prostasin-cleaved γ-ENaC is increased in proteinuria, and (3) cleaved ENaC moieties prevail at the membranes and in urinary extracellular vesicles (uEVs). We developed three monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting (1) the neo-epitope generated after furin cleavage in γ-ENaC (mAb-furin); (2) the intact prostasin cleavage-site in γ-ENaC (mAb-intactRKRK), and (3) the α-ENaC subunit (mAb-alpha). Nephrectomy tissue and uEVs were used for immunoblotting and -histochemistry. In human kidney tissue, mAb-furin detected a ≈ 65-70 kDa protein, compatible with furin-cleaved γ-ENaC; mAb-intactRKRK detected full-length (≈ 90-100 kDa) and furin-cleaved (≈ 70-75 kDa) γ-ENaC. mAb-alpha detected a ≈ 50 kDa protein compatible with furin-cleaved α-subunit. Furin-cleaved γ-ENaC was detected predominantly within membrane fractions and deglycosylation shifted full-length γ-ENaC migration ~ 20 kDa. While γ-ENaC uEV levels were below the detection limit, α-ENaC migrated as intact (≈ 75 kDa) and furin-cleaved (≈ 50 kDa) in uEVs. Kidney levels of α- and γ-ENaC in diuretic- (n = 3) and ACE-inhibitor-treated (n = 4) patients were not different from controls (n = 4). Proteinuric patients (n = 6) displayed similar level of furin-cleaved γ-ENaC as controls (n = 4). Cleaved α-ENaC abundance was significantly lower in the kidneys from proteinuria patients. In conclusion, the study demonstrates ENaC cleavage as an event in human kidney that could contribute to physiological regulation and pathophysiological activation of ENaC.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology
Vol/bind471
Udgave nummer11-12
Sider (fra-til)1383-1396
ISSN0031-6768
DOI
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019

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