Functional characterization of a partial loss-of-function mutation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) associated with atypical cystic fibrosis
Huber, Regina × Krueger, Bettina Diakov, Alexei Korbmacher, Judit Haerteis, Silke Einsiedel, Jürgen Gmeiner, Peter Azad, Abul Kalam Cuppens, Harry Cassiman, Jean-Jacques Korbmacher, Christoph Rauh, Robert #
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry vol:25 issue:1 pages:145-58
Loss-of-function mutations of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) may contribute to pulmonary symptoms resembling those of patients with atypical cystic fibrosis (CF). Recently, we identified a loss-of-function mutation in the alpha-subunit of ENaC (alphaF61L) in an atypical CF patient without mutations in CFTR. To investigate the functional effect of this mutation, we expressed human wild-type alpha beta gamma-ENaC or mutant alpha(F61L) beta gamma-ENaC in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The alphaF61L mutation reduced the ENaC mediated whole-cell currents by approximately 90%. In contrast, the mutation decreased channel surface expression only by approximately 40% and did not alter the single-channel conductance. These findings indicate that the major effect of the mutation is a reduction of the average channel open probability (P(o)). This was confirmed by experiments using the betaS520C mutant ENaC which can be converted to a channel with a P(o) of nearly one, and by experiments using chymotrypsin to proteolytically activate the channel. These experiments revealed that the mutation reduced the average P(o) of ENaC by approximately 75%. Na(+) self inhibition of the mutant channel was significantly enhanced, but the observed effect was too small to account for the large reduction in average channel P(o). The ENaC-activator S3969 partially rescued the loss-of-function phenotype of the alphaF61L mutation. We conclude that the alphaF61L mutation may contribute to respiratory symptoms in atypical CF patients.