Syntrophin-dependent expression and localization of Aquaporin-4 water channel protein

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Title: Syntrophin-dependent expression and localization of Aquaporin-4 water channel protein
Author: Adams, M E; Agre, P; Froehner, S C; Ottersen, O P; Amiry-Moghaddam, M; Neely, J D
Abstract: The Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel contributes to brain water homeostasis in perivascular astrocyte endfeet where it is concentrated. We postulated that AQP4 is tethered at this site by binding of the AQP4 C terminus to the PSD95-Discs large-ZO1 (PDZ) domain of syntrophin, a component of the dystrophin protein complex. Chemical cross-linking and coimmunoprecipitations from brain demonstrated AQP4 in association with the complex, including dystrophin, beta-dystroglycan, and syntrophin. AQP4 expression was studied in brain and skeletal muscle of mice lacking alpha-syntrophin (alpha-Syn(-/-)). The total level of AQP4 expression appears normal in brains of alpha-Syn(-/-) mice, but the polarized subcellular localization is reversed. High-resolution immunogold analyses revealed that AQP4 expression is markedly reduced in astrocyte endfeet membranes adjacent to blood vessels in cerebellum and cerebral cortex of alpha-Syn(-/-) mice, but is present at higher than normal levels in membranes facing neuropil. In contrast, AQP4 is virtually absent from skeletal muscle in alpha-Syn(-/-) mice. Deletion of the PDZ-binding consensus (Ser-Ser-Val) at the AQP4 C terminus similarly reduced expression in transfected cell lines, and pulse-chase labeling demonstrated an increased degradation rate. These results demonstrate that perivascular localization of AQP4 in brain requires alpha-Syn, and stability of AQP4 in the membrane is increased by the C-terminal PDZ-binding motif.
Date: 2001-11-20
Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Nov 20;98(24):14108-13.
Subject: Membrane Proteins/metabolism
Gene Expression
Dystrophin/analogs & derivatives

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