Ouabain-induced isoform-specific localization change of the Na+, K+-ATPase alpha subunit in the synaptic plasma membrane of rat brain

Neurosci Lett. 2007 Feb 8;413(1):42-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2006.11.061. Epub 2006 Dec 15.


Na+, K+-ATPase is one of major membrane proteins that has two subunits, alpha and beta. The alpha subunit has the ATPase activity and the ouabain binding site. Among four isoforms of the alpha subunit, expression of alpha1, alpha2, and alpha3, but not alpha4, is observed in matured rat brain. Ouabain is one of cardiac glycosides, and endogenous ouabain-like compounds have been recognized as a new class of steroid hormone. The alpha subunit is considered as their endogenous receptor. Recent studies envisaged the importance of membrane microdomains (MDs) as signaling platforms, which are recovered as a detergent-resistant membrane microdomain fraction (DRM). Although this ATPase has been considered as a non-DRM protein, some amount of the alpha subunit was found to be a component of the DRM prepared from the synaptic plasma membrane fraction (SPM) of rat brain. Ouabain treatment increased the amount of alpha3 isoform, but not alpha1, in the DRM derived from synaptosome fraction and SPM. These results suggest that the localization of the alpha subunit of Na+, K+-ATPase is regulated with isoform-specific mechanisms and the physiological importance of DRM in the signal transduction of the endogenous ouabain-like steroid hormone in neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Brain / ultrastructure*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Ouabain / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / drug effects*
  • Time Factors


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Ouabain
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase