Role of NHERF1, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, and cAMP in the regulation of aquaporin 9.J Biol Chem. 2008 Feb 01; 283(5):2986-96.JB
Water and solute transport across the plasma membrane of cells is a crucial biological function that is mediated mainly by aquaporins and aquaglyceroporins. The regulation of these membrane proteins is still incompletely understood. Using the male reproductive tract as a model system in which water and glycerol transport are critical for the establishment of fertility, we now report a novel pathway for the regulation of aquaporin 9 (AQP9) permeability. AQP9 is the major aquaglyceroporin of the epididymis, liver, and peripheral leukocytes, and its COOH-terminal portion contains a putative PDZ binding motif (SVIM). Here we show that NHERF1, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), and AQP9 co-localize in the apical membrane of principal cells of the epididymis and the vas deferens, and that both NHERF1 and CFTR co-immunoprecipitate with AQP9. Overlay assays revealed that AQP9 binds to both the PDZ1 and PDZ2 domains of NHERF1, with an apparently higher affinity for PDZ1 versus PDZ2. Pull-down assays showed that the AQP9 COOH-terminal SVIM motif is essential for interaction with NHERF1. Functional assays on isolated tubules perfused in vitro showed a high permeability of the apical membrane to glycerol, which is inhibited by the AQP9 inhibitor, phloretin, and is markedly activated by cAMP. The CFTR inhibitors DPC, GlyH-101 and CFTRinh-172 all significantly reduced the cAMP-activated glycerol-induced cell swelling. We propose that CFTR is an important regulator of AQP9 and that the interaction between AQP9, NHERF1, and CFTR may facilitate the activation of AQP9 by cAMP.