The Na+/Ca2+ Exchanger 1 (NCX1) Variant 3 as the Major Extrusion System in Renal Distal Tubular Transcellular Ca2+-Transport

Nephron. 2015;131(2):145-52. doi: 10.1159/000440655. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Background/aims: Fine-tuning of renal calcium (Ca(2+)) reabsorption takes place in the late distal convoluted and connecting tubules (DCT2/CNT) of the kidney via transcellular Ca(2+) transport. Here, Ca(2+) enters the cell at the apical side via the epithelial Ca(2+) channel transient receptor potential vanilloid 5 and is subsequently extruded at the basolateral side by the concerted actions of the plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPases and the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger 1 (NCX1). NCX1 is responsible for ∼ 70% of basolateral Ca(2+) extrusion. The aim of this study was to determine the predominant NCX1 variant in the kidney and its role in Ca(2+) transport.

Methods: DCT2/CNT specific tubules were used to show the abundance of NCX1 specific isoforms. Renal NCX1 variants were cloned from mouse kidney tissue. Human Embryonic Kidney 293(T) cells were transiently transfected with NCX1.3, and Fura-2 measurements and 45Ca(2+) uptake assays were performed to determine several characteristics of NCX1.3 in the reverse mode.

Results: NCX1.3 was demonstrated to be the predominant NCX1 variant in the DCT2/CNT, next to NCX1.2 and NCX1.7. NCX1.3 could be inhibited by SN-6, an NCX-specific inhibitor, whereas stimulation of the cAMP/PKA or PKC-mediated pathway did not affect Ca(2+) influx as measured in the reverse mode. Lowering intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations resulted in a decreased Ca(2+) uptake.

Conclusion: NCX1.3 is the predominant NCX variant in the DCT2/CNT tubules. Its function is dependent on intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Exons
  • Genetic Variation
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Distal / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • Isoenzymes
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger
  • sodium-calcium exchanger 1
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Calcium