N-terminal serine dephosphorylation is required for KCC3 cotransporter full activation by cell swelling.
ABSTRACT: The K(+):Cl(-) cotransporter (KCC) activity is modulated by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation processes. In isotonic conditions, KCCs are inactive and phosphorylated, whereas hypotonicity promotes their dephosphorylation and activation. Two phosphorylation sites (Thr-991 and Thr-1048) in KCC3 have been found to be critical for its regulation. However, here we show that the double mutant KCC3-T991A/T1048A could be further activated by hypotonicity, suggesting that additional phosphorylation site(s) are involved. We observed that in vitro activated STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) complexed to its regulatory MO25 subunit phosphorylated KCC3 at Ser-96 and that in Xenopus laevis oocytes Ser-96 of human KCC3 is phosphorylated in isotonic conditions and becomes dephosphorylated during incubation in hypotonicity, leading to a dramatic increase in KCC3 function. Additionally, WNK3, which inhibits the activity of KCC3, promoted phosphorylation of Ser-96 as well as Thr-991 and Thr-1048. These observations were corroborated in HEK293 cells stably transfected with WNK3. Mutation of Ser-96 alone (KCC3-S96A) had no effect on the activity of the cotransporter when compared with wild type KCC3. However, when compared with the double mutant KCC3-T991A/T1048A, the triple mutant KCC3-S96A/T991A/T1048A activity in isotonic conditions was significantly higher, and it was not further increased by hypotonicity or inhibited by WNK3. We conclude that serine residue 96 of human KCC3 is a third site that has to be dephosphorylated for full activation of the cotransporter during hypotonicity.
Project description:Using exome sequencing, we identified a de novo mutation (c.2971A>G; T991A) in SLC12A6, the gene encoding the K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter KCC3, in a patient with an early-onset, progressive, and severe peripheral neuropathy primarily affecting motor neurons. Normally, the WNK kinase-dependent phosphorylation of T(991) tonically inhibits KCC3; however, cell swelling triggers Thr(991) dephosphorylation to activate the transporter and restore cell volume. KCC3 T991A mutation in patient cells abolished Thr(991) phosphorylation, resulted in constitutive KCC3 activity, and compromised cell volume homeostasis. KCC3(T991A/T991A) mutant mice exhibited constitutive KCC3 activity and recapitulated aspects of the clinical, electrophysiological, and histopathological findings of the patient. These results suggest that the function of the peripheral nervous system depends on finely tuned, kinase-regulated KCC3 activity and implicate abnormal cell volume homeostasis as a previously unreported mechanism of axonal degeneration.
Project description:The defense of cell volume against excessive shrinkage or swelling is a requirement for cell function and organismal survival. Cell swelling triggers a coordinated homeostatic response termed regulatory volume decrease (RVD), resulting in K(+) and Cl(-) efflux via activation of K(+) channels, volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs), and the K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporters, including KCC3. Here, we show genetic alanine (Ala) substitution at threonines (Thr) 991 and 1048 in the KCC3a isoform carboxyl-terminus, preventing inhibitory phosphorylation at these sites, not only significantly up-regulates KCC3a activity up to 25-fold in normally inhibitory isotonic conditions, but is also accompanied by reversal of activity of the related bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter isoform 1 (NKCC1). This results in a rapid (<10 min) and significant (>90%) reduction in intracellular K(+) content (Ki) via both Cl-dependent (KCC3a + NKCC1) and Cl-independent [DCPIB (VRAC inhibitor)-sensitive] pathways, which collectively renders cells less prone to acute swelling in hypotonic osmotic stress. Together, these data demonstrate the phosphorylation state of Thr991/Thr1048 in KCC3a encodes a potent switch of transporter activity, Ki homeostasis, and cell volume regulation, and reveal novel observations into the functional interaction among ion transport molecules involved in RVD.
Project description:Cell volume homeostasis requires the dynamically regulated transport of ions across the plasmalemma. While the ensemble of ion transport proteins involved in cell volume regulation is well established, the molecular coordinators of their activities remain poorly characterized. We utilized a functional kinomics approach including a kinome-wide siRNA-phosphoproteomic screen, a high-content kinase inhibitor screen, and a kinase trapping-Orbitrap mass spectroscopy screen to systematically identify essential kinase regulators of KCC3 Thr991/Thr1048 phosphorylation - a key signaling event in cell swelling-induced regulatory volume decrease (RVD). In the mammalian brain, we found the Cl--sensitive WNK3-SPAK kinase complex, required for cell shrinkage-induced regulatory volume decrease (RVI) via the stimulatory phosphorylation of NKCC1 (Thr203/Thr207/Thr212), is also essential for the inhibitory phosphorylation of KCC3 (Thr991/Thr1048). This is mediated in vivo by an interaction between the CCT domain in SPAK and RFXV/I domains in WNK3 and NKCC1/KCC3. Accordingly, genetic or pharmacologic WNK3-SPAK inhibition prevents cell swelling in response to osmotic stress and ameliorates post-ischemic brain swelling through a simultaneous inhibition of NKCC1-mediated Cl- uptake and stimulation of KCC3-mediated Cl- extrusion. We conclude that WNK3-SPAK is an integral component of the long-sought "Cl-/volume-sensitive kinase" of the cation-Cl- cotransporters, and functions as a molecular rheostat of cell volume in the mammalian brain.
Project description:WNK kinases, including WNK3, and the associated downstream Ste20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich protein kinase (SPAK) and oxidative stress responsive 1 (OSR1) kinases, comprise an important signaling cascade that regulates the cation-chloride cotransporters. Ischemia-induced stimulation of the bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)-K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC1) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of experimental stroke, but the mechanism of its regulation in this context is unknown. Here, we investigated the WNK3-SPAK/OSR1 pathway as a regulator of NKCC1 stimulation and their collective role in ischemic brain damage.Wild-type WNK3 and WNK3 knockout mice were subjected to ischemic stroke via transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Infarct volume, brain edema, blood brain barrier damage, white matter demyelination, and neurological deficits were assessed. Total and phosphorylated forms of WNK3 and SPAK/OSR1 were assayed by immunoblotting and immunostaining. In vitro ischemia studies in cultured neurons and immature oligodendrocytes were conducted using the oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation method.WNK3 knockout mice exhibited significantly decreased infarct volume and axonal demyelination, less cerebral edema, and accelerated neurobehavioral recovery compared with WNK3 wild-type mice subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion. The neuroprotective phenotypes conferred by WNK3 knockout were associated with a decrease in stimulatory hyperphosphorylations of the SPAK/OSR1 catalytic T-loop and of NKCC1 stimulatory sites Thr(203)/Thr(207)/Thr(212), as well as with decreased cell surface expression of NKCC1. Genetic inhibition of WNK3 or small interfering RNA knockdown of SPAK/OSR1 increased the tolerance of cultured primary neurons and oligodendrocytes to in vitro ischemia.These data identify a novel role for the WNK3-SPAK/OSR1-NKCC1 signaling pathway in ischemic neuroglial injury and suggest the WNK3-SPAK/OSR1 kinase pathway as a therapeutic target for neuroprotection after ischemic stroke.
Project description:WNK1 and WNK4 [WNK, with no lysine (K)] are serine-threonine kinases that function as molecular switches, eliciting coordinated effects on diverse ion transport pathways to maintain homeostasis during physiological perturbation. Gain-of-function mutations in either of these genes cause an inherited syndrome featuring hypertension and hyperkalemia due to increased renal NaCl reabsorption and decreased K(+) secretion. Here, we reveal unique biochemical and functional properties of WNK3, a related member of the WNK kinase family. Unlike WNK1 and WNK4, WNK3 is expressed throughout the nephron, predominantly at intercellular junctions. Because WNK4 is a potent inhibitor of members of the cation-cotransporter SLC12A family, we used coexpression studies in Xenopus oocytes to investigate the effect of WNK3 on NCC and NKCC2, related kidney-specific transporters that mediate apical NaCl reabsorption in the thick ascending limb and distal convoluted tubule, respectively. In contrast to WNK4's inhibitory activity, kinase-active WNK3 is a potent activator of both NKCC2 and NCC-mediated transport. Conversely, in its kinase-inactive state, WNK3 is a potent inhibitor of NKCC2 and NCC activity. WNK3 regulates the activity of these transporters by altering their expression at the plasma membrane. Wild-type WNK3 increases and kinase-inactive WNK3 decreases NKCC2 phosphorylation at Thr-184 and Thr-189, sites required for the vasopressin-mediated plasmalemmal translocation and activation of NKCC2 in vivo. The effects of WNK3 on these transporters and their coexpression in renal epithelia implicate WNK3 in NaCl, water, and blood pressure homeostasis, perhaps via signaling downstream of vasopressin.
Project description:The Na(+):K(+):2Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC2) is the target of loop diuretics and is mutated in Bartter's syndrome, a heterogeneous autosomal recessive disease that impairs salt reabsorption in the kidney's thick ascending limb (TAL). Despite the importance of this cation/chloride cotransporter (CCC), the mechanisms that underlie its regulation are largely unknown. Here, we show that intracellular chloride depletion in Xenopus laevis oocytes, achieved by either coexpression of the K-Cl cotransporter KCC2 or low-chloride hypotonic stress, activates NKCC2 by promoting the phosphorylation of three highly conserved threonines (96, 101, and 111) in the amino terminus. Elimination of these residues renders NKCC2 unresponsive to reductions of [Cl(-)](i). The chloride-sensitive activation of NKCC2 requires the interaction of two serine-threonine kinases, WNK3 (related to WNK1 and WNK4, genes mutated in a Mendelian form of hypertension) and SPAK (a Ste20-type kinase known to interact with and phosphorylate other CCCs). WNK3 is positioned upstream of SPAK and appears to be the chloride-sensitive kinase. Elimination of WNK3's unique SPAK-binding motif prevents its activation of NKCC2, as does the mutation of threonines 96, 101, and 111. A catalytically inactive WNK3 mutant also completely prevents NKCC2 activation by intracellular chloride depletion. Together these data reveal a chloride-sensing mechanism that regulates NKCC2 and provide insight into how increases in the level of intracellular chloride in TAL cells, as seen in certain pathological states, could drastically impair renal salt reabsorption.
Project description:The K-Cl cotransporter (KCC) functions in maintaining chloride and volume homeostasis in a variety of cells. In the process of cloning the mouse KCC3 cDNA, we came across a cloning mutation (E289G) that rendered the cotransporter inactive in functional assays in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Through biochemical studies, we demonstrate that the mutant E289G cotransporter is glycosylation-deficient, does not move beyond the endoplasmic reticulum or the early Golgi, and thus fails to reach the plasma membrane. We establish through co-immunoprecipitation experiments that both wild-type and mutant KCC3 with KCC2 results in the formation of hetero-dimers. We further demonstrate that formation of these hetero-dimers prevents the proper trafficking of the cotransporter to the plasma membrane, resulting in a significant decrease in cotransporter function. This effect is due to interaction between the K-Cl cotransporter isoforms, as this was not observed when KCC3-E289G was co-expressed with NKCC1. Our studies also reveal that the glutamic acid residue is essential to K-Cl cotransporter function, as the corresponding mutation in KCC2 also leads to an absence of function. Interestingly, mutation of this conserved glutamic acid residue in the Na(+)-dependent cation-chloride cotransporters had no effect on NKCC1 function in isosmotic conditions, but diminished cotransporter activity under hypertonicity. Together, our data show that the glutamic acid residue (E289) is essential for proper trafficking and function of KCCs and that expression of a non-functional but full-length K-Cl cotransporter might results in dominant-negative effects on other K-Cl cotransporters.
Project description:Aberrant expression, activation, and down-regulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have causal roles in many human cancers, and post-translational modifications including phosphorylation and ubiquitination and protein-protein interactions directly modulate EGFR function. Quantitative mass spectrometric analyses including selected reaction monitoring (also known as multiple reaction monitoring) were applied to the EGFR and associated proteins. In response to epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation of cells, phosphorylations at EGFR Ser(991) and Tyr(998) accumulated more slowly than at receptor sites involved in RAS-ERK signaling. Phosphorylation-deficient mutant receptors S991A and Y998F activated ERK in response to EGF but were impaired for receptor endocytosis. Consistent with these results, the mutant receptors retained a network of interactions with known signaling proteins including EGF-stimulated binding to the adaptor GRB2. Compared with wild type EGFR the Y998F variant had diminished EGF-stimulated interaction with the ubiquitin E3 ligase CBL, and the S991A variant had decreased associated ubiquitin. The endocytosis-defective mutant receptors were found to have elevated phosphorylation at positions Ser(1039) and Thr(1041). These residues reside in a serine/threonine-rich region of the receptor previously implicated in p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent stress/cytokine-induced EGFR internalization and recycling (Zwang, Y., and Yarden, Y. (2006) p38 MAP kinase mediates stress-induced internalization of EGFR: implications for cancer chemotherapy. EMBO J. 25, 4195-4206). EGF-induced phosphorylations at Ser(1039) and Thr(1041) were blocked by treatment of cells with SB-202190, a selective inhibitor of p38. These results suggest that coordinated phosphorylation of EGFR involving sites Tyr(998), Ser(991), Ser(1039), and Thr(1041) governs the trafficking of EGF receptors. This reinforces the notion that EGFR function is manifest through spatially and temporally controlled protein-protein interactions and phosphorylations.
Project description:Disruption of the potassium/chloride cotransporter 3 (KCC3), encoded by the SLC12A6 gene, causes hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy associated with agenesis of the corpus callosum (HMSN/ACC), a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder affecting both the peripheral nervous system and CNS. However, the precise role of KCC3 in the maintenance of ion homeostasis in the nervous system and the pathogenic mechanisms leading to HMSN/ACC remain unclear. We established two Slc12a6 Cre/LoxP transgenic mouse lines expressing C-terminal truncated KCC3 in either a neuron-specific or ubiquitous fashion. Our results suggest that neuronal KCC3 expression is crucial for axon volume control. We also demonstrate that the neuropathic features of HMSN/ACC are predominantly due to a neuronal KCC3 deficit, while the auditory impairment is due to loss of non-neuronal KCC3 expression. Furthermore, we demonstrate that KCC3 plays an essential role in inflammatory pain pathways. Finally, we observed hypoplasia of the corpus callosum in both mouse mutants and a marked decrease in axonal tracts serving the auditory cortex in only the general deletion mutant. Together, these results establish KCC3 as an important player in both central and peripheral nervous system maintenance.
Project description:The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is a circadian oscillator and biological clock. Cell-to-cell communication is important for synchronization among SCN neuronal oscillators and the great majority of SCN neurons use GABA as a neurotransmitter, the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult CNS. Acting via the ionotropic GABA(A) receptor, a chloride ion channel, GABA typically evokes inhibitory responses in neurons via Cl(-) influx. Within the SCN GABA evokes both inhibitory and excitatory responses although the mechanism underlying GABA-evoked excitation in the SCN is unknown. GABA-evoked depolarization in immature neurons in several regions of the brain is a function of intracellular chloride concentration, regulated largely by the cation-chloride cotransporters NKCC1 (sodium/potassium/chloride cotransporter for chloride entry) and KCC1-4 (potassium/chloride cotransporters for chloride egress). It is well established that changes in the expression of the cation-chloride cotransporters through development determines the polarity of the response to GABA. To understand the mechanisms underlying GABA-evoked excitation in the SCN, we examined the SCN expression of cation-chloride cotransporters. Previously we reported that the K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter KCC2, a neuron-specific chloride extruder conferring GABA's more typical inhibitory effects, is expressed exclusively in vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) neurons in the SCN. Here we report that the K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter isoforms KCC4 and KCC3 are expressed solely in vasopressin (VP) neurons in the rat SCN whereas KCC1 is expressed in VIP neurons, similar to KCC2. NKCC1 is expressed in VIP, GRP and VP neurons in the SCN as is WNK3, a chloride-sensitive neuron-specific with no serine-threonine kinase which modulates intracellular chloride concentration via opposing actions on NKCC and KCC cotransporters. The heterogeneous distribution of cation-chloride cotransporters in the SCN suggests that Cl(-) levels are differentially regulated within VIP/GRP and VP neurons. We suggest that GABA's excitatory action is more likely to be evoked in VP neurons that express KCC4.