Int J Biol Sci 2007; 3(1):47-56. doi:10.7150/ijbs.3.47 This issue

Research Paper

Distinct domain-dependent effect of syntaxin1A on amiloride-sensitive sodium channel (ENaC) currents in HT-29 colonic epithelial cells

Sunil K Saxena, Madhurima Singh, Simarna Kaur, Constantine George

Center for Cell and Molecular Biology, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030, U.S.A.

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Saxena SK, Singh M, Kaur S, George C. Distinct domain-dependent effect of syntaxin1A on amiloride-sensitive sodium channel (ENaC) currents in HT-29 colonic epithelial cells. Int J Biol Sci 2007; 3(1):47-56. doi:10.7150/ijbs.3.47. Available from

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The amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), a plasma membrane protein mediates sodium reabsorption in epithelial tissues, including the distal nephron and colon. Syntaxin1A, a trafficking protein of the t-SNARE family has been reported to inhibit ENaC in the Xenopus oocyte expression and artificial lipid bilayer systems. The present report describes the regulation of the epithelial sodium channel by syntaxin1A in a human cell line that is physiologically relevant as it expresses both components and also responds to aldosterone stimulation. In order to evaluate the physiological significance of syntaxin1A interaction with natively expressed ENaC, we over-expressed HT-29 with syntaxin1A constructs comprising various motifs. Unexpectedly, we observed the augmentation of amiloride-sensitive currents with wild-type syntaxin1A full-length construct (1-288) in this cell line. Both γENaC and neutralizing syntaxin1A antibodies blocked native expression as amiloride-sensitive sodium currents were inhibited while munc18-1 antibody reversed this effect. The coiled-coiled domain H3 (194-266) of syntaxin1A inhibited, however the inclusion of the transmembrane domain to this motif (194-288) augmented amiloride sensitive currents. More so, data suggest that ENaC interacts with multiple syntaxin1A domains, which differentially regulate channel function. This functional modulation is the consequence of the physical enhancement of ENaC at the cell surface in cells over-expressed with syntaxin(s). Our data further suggest that syntaxin1A up-regulates ENaC function by multiple mechanisms that include PKA, PLC, PI3 and MAP Kinase (p42/44) signaling systems. We propose that syntaxin1A possesses distinct inhibitory and stimulatory domains that interact with ENaC subunits, which critically determines the overall ENaC functionality/regulation under distinct physiological conditions.

Keywords: ENaC, Syntaxin1A, HT-29 colonic epithelial cells