Rapid translocation and insertion of the epithelial Na+ channel in response to RhoA signaling

Oleh Pochynyuk, Jorge Medina, Nikita Gamper, Harald Genth, James D. Stockand, Alexander Staruschenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Activity of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) is limiting for Na+ absorption across many epithelia. Consequently, ENaC is a central effector impacting systemic blood volume and pressure. Two members of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases, K-Ras and RhoA, activate ENaC. K-Ras activates ENaC via a signaling pathway involving phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and production of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate with the phospholipid directly interacting with the channel to increase open probability. How RhoA increases ENaC activity is less clear. Here we report that RhoA and K-Ras activate ENaC through independent signaling pathways and final mechanisms of action. Activation of RhoA signaling rapidly increases the membrane levels of ENaC likely by promoting channel insertion. This process dramatically increases functional ENaC current, resulting in tight spatial-temporal control of these channels. RhoA signals to ENaC via a transduction pathway, including the down-stream effectors Rho kinase and phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate produced by activated phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase may play a role in targeting vesicles containing ENaC to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26520-26527
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 8 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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