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, 83 (5), 703-25

Use of Niflumic Acid to Determine the Nature of the Asymmetry of the Human Erythrocyte Anion Exchange System

Use of Niflumic Acid to Determine the Nature of the Asymmetry of the Human Erythrocyte Anion Exchange System

P A Knauf et al. J Gen Physiol.

Abstract

Niflumic acid is a noncompetitive inhibitor of chloride exchange, which binds to a site different from the transport or modifier sites. When the internal Cl- concentration is raised, at constant extracellular Cl-, the inhibitory potency of niflumic acid increases. This effect cannot be attributed to changes in membrane potential, but rather it suggests that niflumic acid binds to the anion exchange protein band 3 only when the transport site faces outward. When the chloride gradient is reversed, with Clo greater than Cli , the inhibitory potency of niflumic acid decreases greatly, which indicates that the affinity of niflumic acid for band 3 with the transport site facing inward is almost 50 times less than when the transport site faces outward. Experiments in which Cli = Clo show no significant change in the inhibition by niflumic acid when Cl- is lowered from 150 to 10 mM. These data suggest that the intrinsic dissociation constants for Cl- at the two sides of the membrane are nearly equal. Thus, the chloride-loaded transport sites have an asymmetric orientation like that of the unloaded transport sites, with approximately 15 times more sites facing the inside than the outside. The asymmetry reflects an approximately 1.5 kcal/mol free energy difference between the inward-facing and outward-facing chloride-loaded forms of band 3. High concentrations of chloride (with Cli = Clo), which partially saturate the modifier site, have no effect on niflumic acid inhibition, which indicates that chloride binds equally well to the modifier site regardless of the orientation of the transport site.

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