Background/Aims: Trafficking, brush border membrane (BBM) retention, and signal-specific regulation of the Na+/H+ exchanger NHE3 is regulated by the Na+/H+ Exchanger Regulatory Factor (NHERF) family of PDZ-adaptor proteins, which enable the formation of multiprotein complexes. It is unclear, however, what determines signal specificity of these NHERFs. Thus, we studied the association of NHE3, NHERF1 (EBP50), NHERF2 (E3KARP), and NHERF3 (PDZK1) with lipid rafts in murine small intestinal BBM. Methods: Detergent resistant membranes ('lipid rafts') were isolated by floatation of Triton X-incubated small intestinal BBM from a variety of knockout mouse strains in an Optiprep step gradient. Acid-activated NHE3 activity was measured fluorometrically in BCECF-loaded microdissected villi, or by assessment of CO2/HCO3 - mediated increase in fluid absorption in perfused jejunal loops of anethetized mice. Results: NHE3 was found to partially associate with lipid rafts in the native BBM, and NHE3 raft association had an impact on NHE3 transport activity and regulation in vivo. NHERF1, 2 and 3 were differentially distributed to rafts and non-rafts, with NHERF2 being most raft-associated and NHERF3 entirely non-raft associated. NHERF2 expression enhanced the localization of NHE3 to membrane rafts. The use of acid sphingomyelinase-deficient mice, which have altered membrane lipid as well as lipid raft composition, allowed us to test the validity of the lipid raft concept in vivo. Conclusions: The differential association of the NHERFs with the raft-associated and the non-raft fraction of NHE3 in the brush border membrane is one component of the differential and signal-specific NHE3 regulation by the different NHERFs.

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Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Sultan, A., Luo, M., Yu, Q., Riederer, B. M., Xia, W., Chen, M., … Seidler, U. (2013). Differential association of the Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor (NHERF) family of adaptor proteins with the raft- and the non-raft brush border membrane fractions of NHE3. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 32(5), 1386–1402. doi:10.1159/000356577