Quantifying RhoA facilitated trafficking of the epithelial Na+ channel toward the plasma membrane with total internal reflection fluorescence-fluorescence recovery after photobleaching

Oleh Pochynyuk, Alexander Staruschenko, Vladislav Bugaj, Lila LaGrange, James D. Stockand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) plays a central role in control of epithelial surface hydration and vascular volume. Similar to other ion channels, ENaC activity is set, in part, by its membrane levels. The small G protein RhoA increases ENaC activity by increasing the membrane levels of this channel. We hypothesize that RhoA increases ENaC activity by promoting channel trafficking to the plasma membrane. Few experimental methods are available to directly visualize trafficking of ion channels to the plasma membrane. Here we combine electrophysiology with two complementary imaging methods, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, to study the mechanistic basis of RhoA actions on ENaC. Patch clamp results demonstrate that RhoA increases ENaC activity in an additive manner with dominant-negative dynamin. This is consistent with a mechanism of increased ENaC trafficking to the membrane. Direct visualization of ENaC movement near the plasma membrane with total internal reflection fluorescence-fluorescence recovery after photobleaching revealed that RhoA accelerates ENaC trafficking toward the membrane. RhoA-facilitated movement of the channel was sensitive to disrupting the endomembrane system. Moreover, facilitating retrieval decreased ENaC activity but not trafficking toward the membrane. ENaC at the plasma membrane clustered and was laterally immobile suggesting that the cytoskeleton tethers or corrals membrane resident channels or membranedirected vesicles containing ENaC. Disrupting microtubules but not microfilaments led to reorganization of ENaC clusters and slowed trafficking toward the membrane. The cytoskeleton is an established target for RhoA signaling. We conclude that RhoA, likely through effects on the cytoskeleton, promotes ENaC trafficking to the plasma membrane to increase channel membrane levels and activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14576-14585
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume282
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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