Direct sensing of intracellular pH by the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl¯ channel

J Chen, Z Cai, D.N Sheppard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In cystic fibrosis (CF), dysfunction of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl− channel disrupts epithelial ion transport and perturbs the regulation of intracellular pH (pHi). CFTR modulates pHi through its role as an ion channel and by regulating transport proteins. However, it is unknown how CFTR senses pHi. Here, we investigate the direct effects of pHi on recombinant CFTR using excised membrane patches. By altering channel gating, acidic pHi increased the open probability (Po) of wild-type CFTR, whereas alkaline pHi decreased Po and inhibited Cl− flow through the channel. Acidic pHi potentiated the MgATP dependence of wild-type CFTR by increasing MgATP affinity and enhancing channel activity, whereas alkaline pHi inhibited the MgATP dependence of wild-type CFTR by decreasing channel activity. Because these data suggest that pHi modulates the interaction of MgATP with the nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs) of CFTR, we examined the pHi dependence of site-directed mutations in the two ATP-binding sites of CFTR that are located at the NBD1:NBD2 dimer interface (site 1: K464A-, D572N-, and G1349D-CFTR; site 2: G551D-, K1250M-, and D1370N-CFTR). Site 2 mutants, but not site 1 mutants, perturbed both potentiation by acidic pHi and inhibition by alkaline pHi, suggesting that site 2 is a critical determinant of the pHi sensitivity of CFTR. The effects of pHi also suggest that site 2 might employ substrate-assisted catalysis to ensure that ATP hydrolysis follows NBD dimerization. We conclude that the CFTR Cl− channel senses directly pHi. The direct regulation of CFTR by pHi has important implications for the regulation of epithelial ion transport.
Translated title of the contributionDirect sensing of intracellular pH by the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl¯ channel
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35495 - 35506
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume284
Issue number51
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Other: Supplemental Data; Journal of Biological Chemistry Paper of the Week

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