Ouabain resistance conferred by expression of the cDNA for a murine Na+, K+-ATPase alpha subunit

Science. 1987 Aug 21;237(4817):901-3. doi: 10.1126/science.3039660.


The molecular basis for the marked difference between primate and rodent cells in sensitivity to the cardiac glycoside ouabain has been established by genetic techniques. A complementary DNA encoding the entire alpha 1 subunit of the mouse Na+- and K+-dependent adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) was inserted into the expression vector pSV2. This engineered DNA molecule confers resistance against 10(-4) M ouabain to monkey CV-1 cells. Deletion of sequences encoding the carboxyl terminus of the alpha 1 subunit abolish the activity of the complementary DNA. The ability to assay the biological activity of this ATPase in a transfection protocol permits the application of molecular genetic techniques to the analysis of structure-function relationships for the enzyme that establishes the internal Na+/K+ environment of most animal cells. The full-length alpha 1 subunit complementary DNA will also be useful as a dominant selectable marker for somatic cell genetic studies utilizing ouabain-sensitive cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA / genetics
  • Drug Resistance
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mice
  • Ouabain / pharmacology*
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Transfection


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Ouabain
  • DNA
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase