Interacting domains in the epithelial sodium channel that mediate proteolytic activation.


Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC) proteolysis at sites in the extracellular loop of the α and γ subunits leads to marked activation. The mechanism of this effect remains debated, as well as the role of the N- and C-terminal fragments of these subunits created by cleavage. We introduced cysteines at sites bracketing upstream and downstream the cleavage regions in α and γ ENaC to examine the role of these fragments in the activated channel. Using thiol modifying reagents, as well as examining the effects of cleavage by exogenous proteases we constructed a functional model that determines the potential interactions of the termini near the cleavage regions. We report that the N-terminal fragments of both α and γ ENaC interact with the channel complex; with interactions between the N-terminal γ and the C-terminal α fragments being the most critical to channel function and activation by exogenous cleavage by subtilisin. Positive charge modification at a.a.135 in the N-terminal fragment of γ exhibited the largest inhibition of channel function. This region was found to interact with the C-terminal α fragment between a.a. 205 and 221; a tract which was previously identified to be the site of subtilisin's action. These data provide the first evidence for the functional channel rearrangement caused by proteolysis of the α and γ subunit and indicate that the untethered N-terminal fragments of these subunits interact with the channel complex.

DOI: 10.1080/19336950.2015.1073869

Cite this paper

@article{Berman2015InteractingDI, title={Interacting domains in the epithelial sodium channel that mediate proteolytic activation.}, author={Jonathan M Berman and Ryan G Awayda and Mouhamed S. Awayda}, journal={Channels}, year={2015}, volume={9 5}, pages={281-90} }