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All human Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase alpha-subunit isoforms have a similar affinity for cardiac glycosides.

Wang J., Velotta J.B., McDonough A.A., Farley R.A.

Three alpha-subunit isoforms of the sodium pump, which is the receptor for cardiac glycosides, are expressed in human heart. The aim of this study was to determine whether these isoforms have distinct affinities for the cardiac glycoside ouabain. Equilibrium ouabain binding to membranes from a panel of different human tissues and cell lines derived from human tissues was compared by an F statistic to determine whether a single population of binding sites or two populations of sites with different affinities would better fit the data. For all tissues, the single-site model fit the data as well as the two-site model. The mean equilibrium dissociation constant (K(d)) for all samples calculated using the single-site model was 18 +/-6 nM (mean +/-SD). No difference in K(d) was found between nonfailing and failing human heart samples, although the maximum number of binding sites in failing heart was only approximately 50% of the number of sites in nonfailing heart. Measurement of association rate constants and dissociation rate constants confirmed that the binding affinities of the different human alpha-isoforms are similar to each other, although calculated K(d) values were lower than those determined by equilibrium binding. These results indicate both that the affinity of all human alpha-subunit isoforms for ouabain is similar and that the increased sensitivity of failing human heart to cardiac glycosides is probably due to a reduction in the number of pumps in the heart rather than to a selective inhibition of a subset of pumps with different affinities for the drugs.

Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol. 281:C1336-43(2001) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]