Role of Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 in forward trafficking of the type IIa Na+-Pi cotransporter

Corey J. Ketchem, Syed J. Khundmiri, Adam E. Gaweda, Rebecca Murray, Barbara J. Clark, Edward J. Weinman, Eleanor D. Lederer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor (NHERF1) plays a critical role in the renal transport of phosphate by binding to Na+-Pi cotransporter (NpT2a) in the proximal tubule. While the association between NpT2a and NHERF1 in the apical membrane is known, the role of NHERF1 to regulate the trafficking of NpT2a has not been studied. To address this question, we performed cell fractionation by sucrose gradient centrifugation in opossum kidney (OK) cells placed in low-Pi medium to stimulate forward trafficking of NpT2a. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated expression of NpT2a and NHERF1 in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi. Coimmunoprecipitation demonstrated a NpT2a- NHERF1 interaction in the ER/Golgi. Low-Pi medium for 4 and 8 h triggered a decrease in NHERF1 in the plasma membrane with a corresponding increase in the ER/Golgi. Time-lapse total internal reflection fluorescence imaging of OK cells placed in low-Pi medium, paired with particle tracking and mean square displacement analysis, indicated active directed movement of NHERF1 at early and late time points, whereas NpT2a showed active movement only at later times. Silence of NHERF1 in OK cells expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-NpT2a resulted in an intracellular accumulation of GFPNpT2a. Transfection with GFP-labeled COOH-terminal (TRL) PDZbinding motif deleted or wild-type NpT2a in OK cells followed by cell fractionation and immunoprecipitation confirmed that the interaction between NpT2a and NHERF1 was dependent on the TRL motif of NpT2a. We conclude that appropriate trafficking of NpT2a to the plasma membrane is dependent on the initial association between NpT2a and NHERF1 through the COOH-terminal TRL motif of NpT2a in the ER/Golgi and requires redistribution of NHERF1 to the ER/Golgi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F109-F119
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi
  • Na/H exchanger regulatory factor 1
  • Plasma membrane
  • Sodium phosphate cotransporter 2a
  • Trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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