Acute inhibition of Na/H exchanger NHE-3 by cAMP. Role of protein kinase a and NHE-3 phosphoserines 552 and 605.
Regulation of the renal Na/H exchanger NHE-3 by protein kinase A (PKA) is a key intermediate step in the hormonal regulation of acid-base and salt balance. We studied the role of NHE-3 phosphorylation in this process in NHE-deficient AP-1 cells transfected with NHE-3 and in OKP cells expressing native NHE-3. A dominant-negative PKA-regulatory subunit completely abolished the effect of cAMP on NHE-3 activity demonstrating a role of PKA in the functional regulation of NHE-3 by cAMP. NHE-3 isolated from cAMP-treated cells showed lower phosphorylation by purified PKA in vitro suggesting that NHE-3 is a PKA substrate in vivo. Although changes in NHE-3 whole protein phosphorylation is difficult to detect in response to cAMP addition, the tryptic phosphopeptide map of in vivo phosphorylated NHE-3 showed a complex pattern of constitutive and cAMP-induced phosphopeptides. To test the causal relationship between phosphorylation and activity, we mutated eight serines in the cytoplasmic domain to glycine or alanine. Single or multiple mutants harboring S552A or S605G showed no PKA activation or reduced regulation by PKA activation. Ser-552 and Ser-605 were phosphorylated in vivo. However, multiple mutations of serines other than Ser-552 or Ser-605 also reduced the functional PKA regulation. We conclude that regulation of NHE-3 by PKA in vivo involves complex mechanisms, which include phosphorylation of Ser-552 and Ser-605.