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The cytoskeleton participates in many aspects of transporter protein regulation. In this study, by using yeast two-hybrid screening, we identified the cytoskeletal protein actin as a binding partner with the UT-A1 urea transporter. This suggests that actin plays a role in regulating UT-A1 activity. Actin specifically binds to the carboxyl terminus of UT-A1. A serial mutation study shows that actin binding to UT-A1's carboxyl terminus was abolished when serine 918 was mutated to alanine. In polarized UT-A1-MDCK cells, cortical filamentous (F) actin colocalizes with UT-A1 at the apical membrane and the subapical cytoplasm. In the cell surface, both actin and UT-A1 are distributed in the lipid raft microdomains. Disruption of the F-actin cytoskeleton by latrunculin B resulted in UT-A1 accumulation in the cell membrane as measured by biotinylation. This effect was mainly due to inhibition of UT-A1 endocytosis in both clathrin and caveolin-mediated endocytic pathways. In contrast, actin depolymerization facilitated forskolin-stimulated UT-A1 trafficking to the cell surface. Functionally, depolymerization of actin by latrunculin B significantly increased UT-A1 urea transport activity in an oocyte expression system. Our study shows that cortical F-actin not only serves as a structural protein, but directly interacts with UT-A1 and plays an important role in controlling UT-A1 cell surface expression by affecting both endocytosis and trafficking, therefore regulating UT-A1 bioactivity.

Citation

Gang Xu, Hua Su, Conner B Carter, Otto Fröhlich, Guangping Chen. Depolymerization of cortical actin inhibits UT-A1 urea transporter endocytosis but promotes forskolin-stimulated membrane trafficking. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 2012 Apr 1;302(7):C1012-8

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PMID: 22262062

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