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The Journal of biological chemistry


Our previous work has established that the metabolic sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) inhibits the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) by promoting its binding to neural precursor cell-expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4-2, E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (Nedd4-2). Here, using MS analysis and in vitro phosphorylation, we show that AMPK phosphorylates Nedd4-2 at the Ser-444 (Xenopus Nedd4-2) site critical for Nedd4-2 stability. We further demonstrate that the Pak-interacting exchange factor β1Pix is required for AMPK-mediated inhibition of ENaC-dependent currents in both CHO and murine kidney cortical collecting duct (CCD) cells. Short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of β1Pix expression in CCD cells attenuated the inhibitory effect of AMPK activators on ENaC currents. Moreover, overexpression of a β1Pix dimerization-deficient mutant unable to bind 14-3-3 proteins (Δ602-611) increased ENaC currents in CCD cells, whereas overexpression of WT β1Pix had the opposite effect. Using additional immunoblotting and co-immunoprecipitation experiments, we found that treatment with AMPK activators promoted the binding of β1Pix to 14-3-3 proteins in CCD cells. However, the association between Nedd4-2 and 14-3-3 proteins was not consistently affected by AMPK activation, β1Pix knockdown, or overexpression of WT β1Pix or the β1Pix-Δ602-611 mutant. Moreover, we found that β1Pix is important for phosphorylation of the aforementioned Nedd4-2 site critical for its stability. Overall, these findings elucidate novel molecular mechanisms by which AMPK regulates ENaC. Specifically, they indicate that AMPK promotes the assembly of β1Pix, 14-3-3 proteins, and Nedd4-2 into a complex that inhibits ENaC by enhancing Nedd4-2 binding to ENaC and its degradation.

Medical Subject Headings

14-3-3 Proteins; AMP-Activated Protein Kinases; Animals; CHO Cells; Cell Line; Cricetulus; Epithelial Cells; Epithelial Sodium Channels; HEK293 Cells; Humans; Kidney Tubules, Collecting; Mice; Nedd4 Ubiquitin Protein Ligases; Phosphorylation; Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors

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