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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

H(+)/solute-induced intracellular acidification leads to selective activation of apical Na(+)/H(+) exchange in human intestinal epithelial cells.

The intestinal absorption of many nutrients and drug molecules is mediated by ion-driven transport mechanisms in the intestinal enterocyte plasma membrane. Clearly, the establishment and maintenance of the driving forces - transepithelial ion gradients - are vital for maximum nutrient absorption. The purpose of this study was to determine the nature of intracellular pH (pH(i)) regulation in response to H(+)-coupled transport at the apical membrane of human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. Using isoform-specific primers, mRNA transcripts of the Na(+)/H(+) exchangers NHE1, NHE2, and NHE3 were detected by RT-PCR, and identities were confirmed by sequencing. The functional profile of Na(+)/H(+) exchange was determined by a combination of pH(i), (22)Na(+) influx, and EIPA inhibition experiments. Functional NHE1 and NHE3 activities were identified at the basolateral and apical membranes, respectively. H(+)/solute-induced acidification (using glycylsarcosine or beta-alanine) led to Na(+)-dependent, EIPA-inhibitable pH(i) recovery or EIPA-inhibitable (22)Na(+) influx at the apical membrane only. Selective activation of apical (but not basolateral) Na(+)/H(+) exchange by H(+)/solute cotransport demonstrates that coordinated activity of H(+)/solute symport with apical Na(+)/H(+) exchange optimizes the efficient absorption of nutrients and Na(+), while maintaining pH(i) and the ion gradients involved in driving transport.[1]


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