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

Annexin A4 reduces water and proton permeability of model membranes but does not alter aquaporin 2-mediated water transport in isolated endosomes.

Annexin A4 (Anx4) belongs to a ubiquitous family of Ca2+-dependent membrane-binding proteins thought to be involved in membrane trafficking and membrane organization within cells. Anx4 localizes to the apical region in epithelia; however, its physiological role is unclear. We show that Anx4 exhibited binding to liposomes (phosphatidylcholine:phosphatidylserine, 1:1) in the presence of Ca2+ and binding was reversible with EDTA. Anx4 binding resulted in liposome aggregation and a reduction in membrane water permeability of 29% (P < 0.001) at 25 degrees C. These effects were not seen in the presence of Ca2+ or Anx4 alone and were reversible with EDTA. Measurements of membrane fluidity made by monitoring fluorescence anisotropy of 2-(12-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino)dodecanoyl-1-hexadecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (NBD-HPC) demonstrated that Anx4 binding rigidified the outer leaflet of the bilayer (P < 0.001), thus providing a molecular explanation for the inhibition of water flux. To determine whether Anx4 would produce similar effects on physiological membranes we constructed liposomes which recapitulated the lipid composition of the inner leaflet of the MDCK apical membrane. These membranes exhibited reductions to water permeability upon Anx4 binding (19.5% at 25 degrees C, 31% at 37 degrees C; P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively) and to proton permeability (15% at 25 degrees C, 19.5% at 37 degrees C; P < 0.05). Since our in vitro experiments indicated an effect on membrane permeability, we examined localization of Anx4 in the kidney collecting duct, a region of the nephron responsible for concentrating urine through water reabsorbtion. Anx4 was shown to colocalize apically with aquaporin 2 (AQP2) in collecting duct epithelia. To test for the existence of a functional interaction between Anx4 and AQP2 we isolated AQP2-containing endosomes and exposed them to Anx4/Ca2+. Water flux rates were unchanged, indicating Anx4 does not directly regulate AQP2. We conclude that Anx4 can alter the physical properties of membranes by associating with them and regulate passive membrane permeability to water and protons. These properties represent important new functions for Anx4.[1]


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