The ROMK1 K+ channel, a member of the ROMK channel family, is the major candidate for the K+ secretion pathway in the renal cortical collecting duct (CCD). ROMK1 possesses a PDZ domain-binding motif at its C-terminus that is considered a modulator of ROMK1 expression via interaction with Na+/H+ exchange regulatory factor (NHERF) 1 and NHERF2 scaffold protein. Although NHERF1 is a potential binding partner of the ROMK1 K+ channel, the interaction between NHERF1 and K+ channel activity remains unclear. Therefore, in this study, we knocked down NHERF1 in cultured M-1 cells derived from mouse CCD and investigated the surface expression and K+ channel current in these cells after exogenous transfection with EGFP-ROMK1. NHERF1 knockdown resulted in reduced surface expression of ROMK1 as indicated by a cell biotinylation assay. Using the patch-clamp technique, we further found that the number of active channels per patched membrane and the Ba2+-sensitive whole-cell K+ current were decreased in the knockdown cells, suggesting that reduced K+ current was accompanied by decreased surface expression of ROMK1 in the NHERF1 knockdown cells. Our results provide evidence that NHERF1 mediates K+ current activity through acceleration of the surface expression of ROMK1 K+ channels in M-1 cells.
Keywords: Cortical collecting duct; K(+) channel; M-1 cell; NHERF1; ROMK1.
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